At North Brisbane Dental Clinic, we believe that preventing dental diseases is preferable to treating them. We incorporate the latest preventive treatment procedures such as professional dental cleanings, diagnostic x-rays, and gum treatments to prevent tooth loss.
Even with the best of intentions, tooth loss is sometimes unavoidable. When patients face tooth loss or extractions, we are here to provide solutions for missing teeth.
One of the most popular choices is dental implants because of their many health and cosmetic benefits. A dental implant, while still a prosthetic, looks and feels much like a real tooth.
How Dental Implants Work
Rather than simply filling the gap left by a missing tooth, dental implants provide a lifelike option to replace the entire tooth. The dental implant post is made of titanium, which is a biocompatible metal that integrates with your natural bone to replace the tooth’s root.
The benefit of this full integration is that it prevents bone loss, which is common with tooth loss.
Usually, once a tooth is lost, the jaw bone in that area shrinks over time. This can affect your facial profile and become uncomfortable. The mechanical load from a dental implant prevents the bone from shrinking and maintains the natural profile of the jaw. The dental implant crown secures to the dental implant post and replaces the actual tooth. We design dental implant crowns to match your existing teeth in both shape and colour for an aesthetic look.
The Dental Implant Process
Step One - Planning
The first stage of the implant process is planning. Dr Andrew Liaw, who is our resident implant provider, will order xrays and 3D imaging to assess the density and exact proportions of your jaw bone. He will then plan for the type and size of implant to be placed, with precise guides in place to ensure correct orientation and angulationi at placement.
Step Two – Placement of your Implant
The placement of your implant will take place in our rooms under local anaesthetic. The time taken for the procedure varies between cases, depending on how many implants are being placed, whether bone grafting is required, and any other particulars of your case. Dr Andrew will give you detail post op instructions for home care after your procedure, as well as prescriptions for any medications you'll need to take.
Step Three– Healing and Integration
The healing process is an important step in the dental implant procedure so that the implant can support the load from chewing. During this integration process, your jaw bone will grow into the threads of the implant and secure it firmly in place.
Healing and integration usually takes about 3 months and is prolonged for patients who smoke or use tobacco.
Dr Andrew will review your implant at this stage to confirm that everything has healed well and that bony integration has occurred successfully. The implant will be tested to ensure it is ready to take the force of chewing.
Step Four – Dental Implant Crown
Once it has been confirmed that your implant has integrated fully and the surrounding bone is healthy, you will return to your usual dentist at North Brisbane Dental Clinic for the final stage, which is securing a new crown over the implant. The crown replaces your tooth and restores the chewing surface. It is the final step in the dental implant process. Each crown is a custom-designed restoration to fit and function like a natural tooth. The final step actually takes place over 2 appointments. At the first appointment, we will take another 3D scan of your jaw, this time with the implant as a reference poing so our laboratory technician can fabricate the perfect crown for you. Approximately 3 weeks after the scan, you return for your final visit to have your tooth placed. The crown is always tried in first before being secured permanently. You will have an opportunity to have a look at it in the mirror and make sure you're 100% happy with how it looks. Once we're all happy with the final result, the crown is secured over the implant, and voilla, you have a new tooth!
Caring for Your Dental Implant
One of the many benefits of dental implants is that you care for them just like natural teeth. A good home care routine that includes proper brushing and flossing combined with professional exams and cleanings in our dental clinic is the best insurance for your smile.
Do You Have Missing Teeth?
If you would like to learn more about how dental implants are improving oral health, contact our clinic to arrange an introductory consultation with Dr Andrew Liaw. We look forward to helping you find a solution so you can smile confidently and eat the foods you love.